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Rosemary is a highly beneficial herb that has been used in food and medicine for ages. It has natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and potent antiseptic properties.
Moreover, rosemary has several benefits for the skin and hair. (1)
Rosemary in Skin Care
Rosemary is filled with antioxidants (2) that help fight free radical damage to the skin. Antioxidants protect your skin cells from photodamage caused by sun exposure and environmental pollutants and prevent skin aging. (3)(4)
This herb also contains strong antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight acne. (5)
Rosemary is also a good source of several vital nutrients for the skin including iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. These nutrients promote collagen production, which promotes healthy skin and hair. (6)(7)
Rosemary can be used for skin care in the form of oil or extract, or you can buy skin care products that contain rosemary as an ingredient.
Benefits of Rosemary for the Skin
Here is a brief list of some of the most beneficial properties of rosemary for your skin:
1. Unclogs blocked pores
Rosemary acts as a gentle exfoliant and helps cleanse the upper layers of your skin thoroughly. Topical application of rosemary helps clear out oil, dirt, and debris from your pores. (8)
2. Tightens and tones the skin
Rosemary oil contains several nutrients and antioxidants that promote collagen production to tighten your skin. It also stimulates blood flow to the facial skin and improves your skin tone. (9)
3. Treats eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions
Rosemary contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help reduce the redness and inflammation associated with common skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. It also is an antimicrobial agent that can help treat skin infections and get rid of germs from the skin’s surface. (10)
4. Moisturizes the skin
Rosemary contains hydrating properties and helps lock in moisture to give you softer and glowing skin.
5. Acts as a natural facial astringent
Rosemary has astringent properties that help dissolve oil residue, cleansing your face and keeping it oil-free without turning your skin dry. (11)
How to Use Rosemary for the Skin
Rosemary can be used in a number of ways. Here are some simple DIYs to use rosemary in your skin care routine.
Rosemary helps tone the skin and soothe acne.
- ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
- ½ cup witch hazel hydrosol
- ¼ cup rose water
- Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. As soon as small bubbles start to form, turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid. Let steep until cool to the touch.
- Strain the finished infusion and store it in a clean and labeled glass jar. Use within 2 months.
- Pat the infusion into clean skin twice per day, or apply to clean skin with a spritzer bottle.
- ½ cup distilled water
- 1 tsp vegetable glycerine
- 5–6 drops rosemary oil
- Add all the ingredients to a jar or spray bottle.
- Shake well before use.
- Pat the solution into your skin with fingers or spray it onto the skin.
Rosemary for the Hair
Rosemary has been widely used for hair loss in Western herbal remedies for ages.
Recent studies have shown that regular application of rosemary oil can be more beneficial than minoxidil (a popular hair loss drug used in the treatment of alopecia) in promoting hair growth and strength. (12)
Rosemary oil has shown promising benefits in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. (13)
Apart from being filled with antioxidants and nutrients, rosemary oil can help improve blood flow to the scalp and increase hair growth significantly when used in massages.
Benefits of Rosemary for the Hair
The health benefits of rosemary for your hair include:
1. Reduces inflammation
Rosemary oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the scalp and reduce hair loss.
2. Promotes hair growth and beauty
Research indicates that rosemary can boost hair growth by as much as 22%. It has even been shown to help increase hair growth in people suffering from androgenetic alopecia. (14)
3. Exhibits vasodilation properties
Rosemary oil helps dilate the blood vessels to promote blood flow to the scalp. This nourishes the hair follicles and promotes healthy hair. (15)
4. Strengthens hair
Rosemary oil contains nutrients that help strengthen the hair and increase hair elasticity.
5. Other benefits
Additional benefits of rosemary oil for your hair include:
- Helps reverse greying of hair in early stages
- Helps soothe itching and irritation in the scalp
- Rejuvenates hair follicles
- Helps fight dandruff
How to Use Rosemary for the Hair
Rosemary oil can be used for the hair in different ways.
1. Rosemary treatment oil
- 1 tbsp rosemary oil
- 2 tbsp carrier oil
- Combine rosemary oil with any carrier oil (almond, olive, etc.).
- Apply this mixture to your scalp and hair before bed.
- Let it rest overnight and wash it off with a mild shampoo the next morning.
- 15 drops rosemary oil
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
- Mix the two oils and transfer the mixture to a small jar.
- Massage 1 teaspoon of the mixture onto your scalp before going to bed.
- Wash it off in the morning with a mild shampoo.
2. Rosemary decoction
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup dried rosemary leaves
- 2 vitamin E capsules
- Add the water and rosemary leaves to a vessel and bring to a light boil.
- Remove from heat and add the vitamin E oil from the capsules.
- After cooling, store the mixture in a clean jar.
- Massage a little bit of the mixture onto your hair and scalp before shampooing your hair.
3. Adding rosemary oil to your existing shampoo
You can also add a few drops of rosemary oil to your regular shampoo for convenient use.
Most-Asked Questions About Rosemary Oil
Can rosemary oil prevent hair loss and help with hair regrowth?
Rosemary oil helps prevent hair loss and promotes hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles and nourishing them. It is also believed to help inhibit the effects of testosterone on the hair follicles to treat androgenetic alopecia.
Does using rosemary oil for hair growth actually work?
Rosemary oil may be as useful as the drug Rogaine in promoting hair growth. However, additional studies have to be carried out to prove its benefits.
How long does it take for rosemary oil to work on hair?
Most herbal remedies take time to work. Rosemary oil needs to be used for at least 4–6 months before you notice any visible change in your hair.
Should you use the whole rosemary plant or essential oil?
Essential oils are oils extracted from plants that contain their healing properties and useful compounds in a concentrated form. However, traditionally, most herbal medicines rely on the use of the whole plant in the form of concoctions, broths, or dried parts.
Rosemary is not only useful in the kitchen but can also be an important addition to your medicine cabinet. It is a natural and completely safe remedy for hair growth and skin care. Make sure to give it a try if you are suffering from skin problems or hair loss.